Australia discovers 17,300-years-old kangaroo rock art
Published: 01:52 PM, 23 February 2021
The photo of 17,300-years-old kangaroo rock painting (left) and an illustration of the artwork (right); Photo: Damied Finch/BBC
Australian scientists have discovered a 17,300-years-old painting of a kangaroo, the oldest rock art in the country.
The rock art was found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, known for its Aboriginal rock paintings.
According to a report published by the BBC, the artwork measuring 2 meters (6.5 feet) was painted in red ochre on the ceiling of a rock shelter.
Meanwhile, the findings were published on Tuesday in the journal Human Nature Behaviour, which mentioned that the art’s age was determined by “radiocarbon-dating ancient mud wasp nests”.
Researcher Damien Finch, who pioneered the mud wasp dating technique, said it was rare to find mud wasp nests both on top and underneath a single artwork. However, the team was able to sample both types to establish the artwork’s minimum and maximum ages, he added.
“We radiocarbon-dated three wasp nests underlying the painting and three nests built over it to determine, confidently, that the painting is between 17,500 and 17,100 years old; most likely 17,300 years old,” said Dr Finch, a geochronologist from the University of Melbourne. – BBC.
This artwork makes the oldest known intact painting in Australia, the scientists say.
Earlier this year, researchers found the world’s oldest animal cave painting, a 45,000-year-old depiction of a pig, on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. However, a hashtag-like doodle created 73,000 years ago, discovered in South Africa, is believed to be the world’s oldest drawing.